Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday said that an investigation into Tuesday night’s clashes in Bengaluru, which left at least three people dead, has revealed the role of the Social Democratic Party of India, PTI reported. The organisation had earlier denied being involved in the violence.
The Social Democratic Party of India is the political arm of the Popular Front of India, a Muslim organisation that describes itself on its Facebook page as working for equal rights, freedom, justice and security for all Indians.
At least three people were killed and around 60 police personnel were injured in Bengaluru when protestors clashed with the police on Tuesday night. The demonstrations began after a relative of Congress MLA R Akhanda Srinivas Murthy put up a Facebook post that was allegedly offensive to Islam. Murthy’s relative was arrested.
“KG Halli and DJ Halli are peaceful since yesterday and there have been no untoward incidents...as the investigation is progressing new information is coming out,” Bommai said. “I cannot share with you everything, but in the days to come I will share [the details] with the media.” Video footage showed that SDPI members came from nearby areas, he added.
The home minister said four people associated with the Social Democratic Party of India have been arrested. At least 145 people have been arrested in connection with the violence so far.
“Already, several SDPI office-bearers have been arrested,” he added. “Muzammil Pasha, the SDPI district secretary is the main [person], also Firoz, Afraz Pasha and Shaik Adil, all of them are from [the] SDPI. Their role is completely being investigated and they have been arrested.”
Bommai added that the police were also looking into cases against the Social Democratic Party of India in Mangaluru, Mysuru and other areas. The police were also looking at the incident through various angles, including the rivalry between and within political parties, he added. “Everything that might have led to this incident, we will investigate,” Bommai said. “Whoever is at fault or have supported it [the violence], we will take action even if it is an elected representative.”
Meanwhile, a Rapid Action Force team carried out a flag march in the riot-affected areas. A ban on large gatherings has been imposed in DJ Halli, KG Halli and Kavalbyrasandra areas.
The mob had targeted many places, including the residence of Murthy and a police station at DJ Halli. Murthy’s house was set on fire. However, he was not at home. The mob had also damaged several private and police vehicles. On Wednesday, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had said the government will conduct an inquiry led by a magistrate into the incident.
On Wednesday, minister CT Ravi claimed that the violence was orchestrated and said that the government would recover losses from the damage caused to public property from the protestors.
Opposition leaders in Karnataka had expressed shock over the violence in Bengaluru and assured the Yediyurappa-led government of help in restoring the law and order situation. They also appealed to the people to stay calm.